Although excellent discussions of the clinical, roentgenologic, and pathologic aspects of silicosis are available in the literature, accurate knowledge of the characteristics of the disease has not yet been widely diffused. Because of this and because the industrial and medicolegal importance of silicosis is constantly increasing, it seemed that a report of a typical case and a brief discussion of the more important features of the disease should be of interest.
Report of Case
The patient, a white man, aged 56 years, had experienced frequent attacks of bronchitis during the winter months for more than twenty years. Fifteen years ago he had had a persistent productive cough which was accompanied by low-grade fever, night sweats, weakness, and a loss of 20 pounds in weight. A diagnosis of pulmonary tuberculosis was made, but the patient did not know whether tubercle bacilli were found in the sputum. A daily elevation in temperature to 100° or 101° F. had persisted for several months, and for the next three years the patient had spent practically all his time resting. He had then taken up farming and had been able to do hard work although a productive morning cough continued and strenuous exertion always caused definite dyspnea. He had continued to have frequent “colds” during the winter months, and of late years these had been accompanied by severe attacks of wheezing which were relieved by the subcutaneous administration of epinephrine. The weight which had been lost at the onset of the illness had never been. . .